NATIONAL NEWS

Sheriff: Gun seized may be tied to fatal Calif. shooting

Jan 22, 2023, 10:32 AM | Updated: 1:28 pm
Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten pe...
Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten people have been shot dead during at a gathering celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
(Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in California say they are investigating the possibility that a male suspect believed to have shot and killed 10 people at a Lunar New Years celebration may have entered a second dance hall nearby about 30 minutes later.

The weapon he was carrying was wrestled away by someone at the Alhambra dance studio and handed over to police. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna also said at a press conference Sunday that the suspect who left 10 people dead and 10 injured at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio is still at large.
Luna says the weapon obtained by police “was not an assault rifle.”

“We believe that there’s an incident that may be related,” Luna said of the confrontation in Alhambra. “We’re not quire there yet, but it’s definitely on our radar screen.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance studio following a Lunar New Year celebration, killing 10 people and setting off a manhunt for the suspect in the nation’s fifth mass killing this month.

Another 10 people were wounded and were taken to hospitals, where their conditions ranged from stable to critical, Capt. Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said Sunday.

The scene unfolded late Saturday in Monterey Park, a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles that is composed mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans.

When officers arrived at the studio around 10:30 p.m., people were “pouring out of the location screaming,” Meyer said. He said officers then went into the ballroom and found victims as firefighters treated the wounded.

Meyer gave no description of the male suspect or the weapon he used and offered no explanation for why police gave no information on the shooting for hours while the assailant apparently remained on the run.

He said it was too early in the investigation to know if the gunman knew anyone at the ballroom or if it was a hate crime.

“We will look at every angle,” Meyer said.

The shooting happened in the heart of downtown Monterey Park where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner that proclaimed “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten people have been shot dead during at a gathering celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten people have been shot dead during at a gathering celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten people have been shot dead during at a gathering celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten people have been shot dead during at a gathering celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on January 22, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. Ten people have been shot dead during at a gathering celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of California’s largest and had attracted tens of thousands throughout the day.

Two days of festivities, which have been attended by as many as 100,000 people in past years, were planned. But officials canceled Sunday’s events following the shooting.

Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park was stunned when he came out for his early morning walk to learn that the noises he heard in the night were gunshots.

“I thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with Lunar New Year,” he said. “And we don’t even get a lot of fireworks here. It’s weird to see this. It’s really safe here. We’re right in the middle of the city, but it’s really safe.”

The tragedy marked not just the fifth mass killing in the U.S. since the start of the year but also the deadliest since May 24, when 21 people were killed in a school in Uvalde, Texas, according to The Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the U.S.

The database also shows that 2022 was also one of the nation’s worst years in terms of mass killings, with 42 such attacks — the second-highest number since the creation of the tracker in 2006. The database defines a mass killing as four people killed not including the perpetrator.

The latest violence comes two months after five people were killed at a Colorado Springs nightclub.
The White House said President Joe Biden was briefed on the situation by Homeland Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was also briefed, Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson said.

The shooting occurred at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from city hall on Monterey Park’s main thoroughfare of Garvey Avenue, which is dotted with strip malls of small businesses whose signs are in both English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are both widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated, and Chinese films are screened regularly in the city.

The business offered dance lessons from Tango to Rumba to the Fox Trot, and rented its space for events. On Saturday, its website said it was hosting an event called “Star Night” from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m..

Seung Won Choi, who owns the Clam House seafood barbecue restaurant across the street from where the shooting happened, told The Los Angeles Times that three people rushed into his business and told him to lock the door.

The people said to Choi that there was a shooter with a gun who had multiple rounds of ammunition on him.

Wong Wei, who lives nearby, told The Los Angeles Times that his friend was in a bathroom at the dance studio when the shooting started. When she came out, he said, she saw a gunman and three bodies.
The friend then fled to Wei’s home at around 11 p.m., he said, adding that his friends told him that the shooter appeared to fire indiscriminately with a long gun.

Police were investigating another incident in the nearby city of Alhambra, where a similar business, the Lai Lai Ballroom, had police tape across its front door and an officer guarding it.

Detectives could be seen working near the open back door, where a woman wearing gloves was carefully examining the door handle as though checking for prints.

Officials gave no details on what had happened and it was unclear whether the incident was connected to the Monterey Park shooting.


Associated Press writer Julie Watson in San Diego contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

This booking image provided by the Chicago Police Department, shows Eva Bratcher, who has been accu...
Associated Press

Daughter charged after mom’s body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman is accused of keeping her mother’s dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.
20 hours ago
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) leaves her office at the Longworth House Office Building on February 02...
Kevin Freking and Lisa Mascaro

House GOP votes to oust Democrat Omar from major committee

House Republicans have voted to oust Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
20 hours ago
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol on F...
Colleen Long and Chris Megerian, Associated Press

Biden urges unity at prayer breakfast under new management

President Joe Biden attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday in Washington and delivered a message of unity.
20 hours ago
FILE: Groundhog handler AJ Derume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late sp...
Associated Press

Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction: 6 more weeks of winter

A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration.
20 hours ago
Law enforcement officers aim their weapons at a home during a standoff in Grants Pass, Ore., on Tue...
Associated Press

Oregon kidnapping suspect dies of self-inflicted gunshot

The suspect in a violent kidnapping in Oregon has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
2 days ago
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference after a Federal Open M...
Christopher Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Fed lifts rate by quarter-point and signals more hikes ahead

The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate by a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Sheriff: Gun seized may be tied to fatal Calif. shooting